Fig & Anise Crisps

Terra Breads makes this fabulous fig and anise bread.  I just made up a mixture of olive oil and maple syrup, brushed it on and toasted it to makes these darlings.  They were delicious with some salty olive tapenade on top to play off the sweetness of the figs and maple syrup.

What you need:

part of a loaf of fig & anise bread, thinly sliced

olive oil

maple syrup

What you do:

1.  As thinly as you can, slice the bread.  Place the slices onto a baking sheet.

2.  Mix some olive oil with some maple syrup, less syrup than oil.

3.  Brush a little of the mixture onto each piece of bread.

4.  Toast them in the oven on about 250-300F, watching closely so they don’t burn.

They were great with the olive tapenade, but I would imagine a sharp cheese or some cream cheese would be fantastic.

My Best Biscotti – even Oma loves them

This is one of my alltime most popular recipes, and I am honoured that even my Oma adores them, as I have adored so much of her baking.

These biscotti don’t need to be dunked, as they are crispy and easy to bite on their own.  You can dunk them if you want to, or enjoy the flavour on it’s own.

You need:

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon anise liquor OR 1 teaspoon anise extract

2 cups + 2 tablespoons white flour

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate

1 tablespoon anise seeds, toasted

What to do:

1. Toast anise seeds in a frying pan, then crush with a mortar and pestle.  If you choose not to do this, then add ground anise or fennel seeds.

2. Toast almond slivers in a frying pan until slightly browned and allow to cool.  They are easy to burn, so watch carefully – I usually keep them on low while I start making the cookie dough.

3. Cream the butter, then add sugar, then eggs one at a time and beat until fluffy.  Beat in vanilla and anise liquor.

4. Combine dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.  Add chocolate and nuts and stir until just combined.

5. Divide the dough into two pieces.  With floured hands form into two logs on a baking sheet.  Bake at 325F for 25-30 minutes.

6. Slice the baked rolls diagonally and place on a baking sheet.  Lower the oven to 300F and bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly browned.  Turn over and bake for another 10-15, until that side is also slightly browned.

7. Place on cooling racks, then package and give to people you love or are trying to impress.   They keep for quite a long time – which is why they were invented in the first place.  Of course, they are the best right off the cooing rack, so don’t forget to enjoy one.  Or two.